Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) may be a hard one to pronounce, but with the right help it isn’t hard to manage. FAI occurs when your hip joint does not form correctly during childhood developmental years. An increase in friction during movement of the hip joint causes abnormalities that are described as either Pincer, Cam or Mixed/Combined (as shown in image 1). In some cases, the hip may be provoked in some way due to the nature of your exercise or even occupation.
Image 1 adapted from: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/femoroacetabular-impingement/
FAI will often present as pain at the front of your hip or groin and you may notice your hip doesn’t move as well is it used to! These symptoms may come about during or following exercise, prolonged sitting and crossing the legs.
The diagnosis of FAI involves a detailed history, physical exam and radiographs of the pelvis. Your age and pre-injury activity level will come into consideration when determining if surgery is indicated or not. These options will first be discussed with your practitioner.
Recent studies have shown that initial conservative management for FAI may improve function and symptoms, so thankfully there are a few things you can do to help yourself get back on track to what it is you love doing! So, what can be done to help?
- Making small modifications to your daily routine and avoiding activities that aggravate the symptoms. Whether it be exercise duration and intensity or sitting on the couch at home.
- Your healthcare practitioner may suggest you speak with your GP or pharmacist regarding pain medication to help reduce pain and inflammation in the early stages.
- Exercise management will often be prescribed and will be based on examination findings and individual needs and progress.
Below are some simple exercises that may help with strengthening, stretching and keeping you moving! Please speak with your practitioner before attempting any of these exercises.
Hip Flexor stretches
Glute strengthening – supine bridge, clams
Rocking side to side & front to back on Bosu ball (can hold wall as a support)
If your symptoms continue or remain unchanged upon returning to activity, a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon may be needed. It is important that you discuss your options with one of your health care practitioners at Stay Tuned.
Emara, K., Samir, W., Motasem, E., & Ghafar, K. (2011). Conservative Treatment for Mild Femoroacetabular Impingement. Journal Of Orthopaedic Surgery, 19(1), 41-45. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/230949901101900109